A DESPERATE search is underway for an epilepsy support dog who went missing after being attacked while out on a walk. 

Rescued Chihuahua-crosses Snoop and Stan were rehomed to become support dogs for Harry Albans, 21, after his epilepsy diagnosis in 2019. They have developed a close bond and alert him and his family of an incoming seizure.

With Harry away at university they were out on a walk with the student's mum Rachael Albans, 54, at the old pitch and putt in Cheney Manor Road on Monday at around 7.30am when a larger boxer dog ran over and attacked them. 

"The dog was biting Stan so I picked him up," she said. "And then it started biting Snoop, so I went to pick him up too and I looked down and Stan had gone. I don't know how, but he had slipped his harness and had gone."

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An immediate search of the area then began with other dog-walkers joining in to help find Stan, and very quickly it became a big community effort with posts all over social media.

But after a few potential sightings in the area Rachael is no closer to finding Stan a few days later and is now having to juggle looking for him and caring for Snoop, who received nasty bite injures to his back. 

"The situation feels very dire, it's incredibly distressing," she said. 

"Since Monday when it happened, other than when i've been following up on a sighting, or with Snoop, i've spent literally all day, every day, back at that spot where he went missing hoping he'll just come back.

Rachael is consulting with a missing dog charity who are experts at finding lost dogs, but Stan presents his own challenges as an ex-rescue dog because he's very nervous, so is unlikely to go anywhere near people. 

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Members of the community with drones were going to help search on Wednesday but the winds from Storm Dudley were too strong. 

"People round here have been amazing, there have been lots of group forming and looking for him," said Rachael. "I can't thank them all enough. They've been looking, they've been handing out posters, a couple of companies have even gone through their CCTV."

Rachael added the dog attack has left the family shaken, and news of it has caused Harry's health to decline. 

She said: "Stan going missing has had a big effect on the family, Harry is distraught and the stress is making him have more seizure.

"My priority is him and his health so I'll do whatever it takes to find him."

Stan is microchipped and was last seen in the Cheney Manor area.

If you have seen Stan, or think you know where he is, please call Rachael on 07518 701630

Swindon Advertiser: Missing poster for StanMissing poster for Stan